arm's length


Definition of arm's length

1 : a distance discouraging personal contact or familiarity kept former friends at arm's length now
2 : the condition or fact that the parties to a transaction are independent and on an equal footing

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Other Words from arm's length

arm's-length adjective

Examples of arm's length in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Both sides are keeping the Sweden Democrats, an anti-immigrant party with roots in a neo-Nazi movement that got nearly 18 percent, at arm's length. Fox News, "The Latest: Sweden faces uncertainty after close election," 10 Sep. 2018 Clearing the western horizon at an altitude of 10 degrees (the width of your fist held at arm's length) will be Venus, appearing absolutely dazzling at a magnitude of -4.2. Joe Rao,, "The Moon Has a Close Encounter with Saturn on Tuesday Night," 23 July 2018 Vickers flew under DeVries to within about an arm's length. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Airman Forced to Belly-Land A-10 Warthog After Canopy Blows, Landing Gear Fails," 15 Aug. 2017 Since jumping into the Senate race, McSally has reshaped her persona from a pragmatic conservative who kept Trump at arm's length to a more enthusiastic Trump supporter. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Martha McSally campaign in line for $5 million from GOP establishment," 29 June 2018 The idea of being an arm's length away from art just doesn't compute any more., "Pop Culture Is Breathing New Life Into Stuffy Museums," 18 June 2018 But Boston quickly rattled off a 7-0 run of its own and kept Milwaukee at arm's length for the rest of the half, owning a 60-51 advantage at the break. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Celtics 120, Bucks 106: Lackluster Milwaukee falls into a 2-0 hole in the series," 17 Apr. 2018 Their job, however, is not to run the place but to stand back at arm's length and have the museum run by pros. Christopher Knight,, "MOCA has lacked an effective director for nearly 20 years. It's time for change," 26 May 2018 The Vatican under the past two popes had kept the Way at arm's length because of its unusual liturgical practices. Fox News, "Pope urges Neocatechumenal missionaries to respect cultures," 5 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arm's length.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arm's length

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for arm's length

The first known use of arm's length was in 1655

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a servile follower or underling

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